Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President Dead at 58 (10 photo + 2 video)

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           Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's controversial socialist president has died today, 3/5/13, at the age of 58. The Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro confirmed as such today.

           Chavez was fighting Pelvic cancer and recently returned to a clinic in Cuba as a guest of the countries ailing socialist leader, Fidel Castro, seeking treatment. Since his first cancer treatment in Cuba in 2011, Chavez's public appearances diminished.

           Chavez was born in 1954 in the town of Sabenta, Venezuela. Both his parents were schoolteachers. During his time in the office Chavez became a well-known polarizing figure who was a constant thorn in the side of the United States. He was a populist who suppressed free speech and was immensely popular among the poor people of his country.

           During the 1990's, the country's middle-class was disenchanted with the country's two primary political parties which both suffered from corruption. Chavez who was an Icon from his prison days promised to rid the country of corruption and pledged to divert revenue from the country's ample oil sales to help the poor, as well as improve health care and education.

           Despite the country's oil wealth, unemployment and poverty remain high in Venezuela. Chavez placed blame on thte oil companies, the catholic church, and the US as places the Venezuelan people could pin their frustrations on. Chavez loved taking jabs at the US especially at the expense of former president George Bush. He also stayed on the United State's bad side by befriending America's enemies - Fidel Castro and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Despite all of his promises that he would clean up Venezuela's corruption, his administration was filled with it. He was constantly criticized for human rights abuse and restricting freedom of the press. The Power now goes to Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

Source: abcnews.go.com

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